Your aging loved one’s diet plays a big role in how he or she manages Parkinson’s disease. While you likely already know to avoid certain foods that interact with your loved one’s medications, you may not be aware there are also types of food that can slow the progression of the symptoms. These six foods are all great options to add to your loved one’s diet plan.
1. Fava Beans
These green legumes take a little work to prepare because they require getting each one out of their shell. However, they’re a favorite food among those with Parkinson’s disease because they contain levodopa, which is the same ingredient in medications commonly prescribed to seniors with this condition. Keep in mind fava beans are only an option for enhancing your loved one’s diet. Your loved one should still continue to take medications as prescribed to ensure he or she gets the proper amount of levodopa to control the symptoms of Parkinson’s.
Living with Parkinson’s isn’t easy for seniors, and they might need help to remain independent while aging in place. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care. Wellesley Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
Many seniors with Parkinson’s need to control their protein intake. However, lean fish is an alternative source of protein that can be helpful for slowing down the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are required for proper cognitive functioning.
Oxidative stress affects the brain cells, and antioxidants reduce the effects of free radicals at a cellular level. Blueberries are just one type of food that is high in antioxidants, but you can also substitute other colorful berries such as raspberries to add some variety to your loved one’s diet. When preparing meals, remember fresh is best. Cooking berries can lower the number of antioxidants each serving provides.
4. High-Fiber Vegetables
Carrots, broccoli, and spinach are all great sources of fiber that can prevent the constipation many people with Parkinson’s experience each day. If your loved one has difficulty eating hard or crunchy vegetables, try cooking them until they’re soft. You can also add softened vegetables to smoothies to make them more palatable.
5. Whole Grains
Whole grains such as oats and brown rice play a vital role in helping seniors feel fuller, and they’re a better alternative to processed foods. Whole grains also lower cholesterol, which is an ideal way to boost heart health and increase blood flow to the brain. Ideally, your loved one should have several servings of whole grains a day, and they’re easy to include in every meal.
To ensure your loved one follows a nutritious diet, you may need to prepare healthy meals each day and make extra trips to the grocery store, which may be challenging if you have other important responsibilities to attend to. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Wellesley, MA, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Eggs are considered a superfood that every senior should eat because they contain a variety of nutrients. The yolks contain vitamin D, which can help seniors maintain their bone health. Eggs can also be cooked in a variety of ways that are softer for seniors who have difficulty with chewing as a symptom of their Parkinson’s disease.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a Wellesley elder care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services. To hire a friendly and trained caregiver for your loved one, contact us at (781) 239-0060.